December 2015 – S2 optoelectronics event to celebrate International year of light
S2 Science at Millburn
Science in second year builds on the thematic ideas of first year with three separate units each following the scientific subjects of Biology Chemistry and Physics. These three units each take 8 weeks and classes will cover them between June and December of second year. These units have a large proportion of practical work, which encourages the investigative skills required for fourth level and national courses later up the school
Each unit focuses on two key concepts to allow a much deeper understanding than has been possible with the boarder approach in first year:
Biology Human organs (including homeostasis and diabetes) and Ecology (Food chains and interdependence)
Chemistry Chemical techniques (filtering distilling etc ) and the Periodic Table (Elements, Compounds &pH)
Physics Heat energy (Conduction, convection and radiation) and Forces & motion (Levers, pulleys and slopes)
Each of the units has at least one investigation. The S2 Biology unit usually features a visit by LifeScan staff to introduce industrial enzyme techniques.
Each unit has approximately three standard homework exercises supplemented by short research tasks. Each unit has two parts to a written assessment at the end of the unit which tests both knowledge and skills. These marks are used to inform comment on S2 reports issued in late February.
The marks from these tests help science teachers offer guidance as to which science courses will be most appropriate in S3. Teachers from each subject area visit each class to ensure learners make an informed decision about Sciences in S3.
After these three units are finished in January the classes work through 6 shorter topics which show the relevance of Science in everyday life. These open-ended units allow learners to spend more time on areas that interest them.
Global Greenhouse Analysis of the scientific evidence for global warming
CSI Millburn Forensic Science techniques
Energy conservation The Physics behind saving energy and money
Biotechnology The conditions for growth and common uses of micro organisms.
Chem-myth-try. Busting some commons myths in Chemistry and Science. For example can a shampoo make your hair stronger?
Planet life What are the conditions needed for life on another planet?
By the end of second year most learners will have achieved the Curriculum for Excellence Third level Experiences and Outcomes in Science. If this has proved too challenging for some learners we offer a science course in S3 which allows revisiting of the main areas of science to achieve third level and a national 3 qualification in Science. Otherwise most learners continue to study one, two or even three sciences in third year. This can then lead on to a National 4 or 5 course in S4, S5 or even S6. Although it may be possible to pick up Biology and possibly physics later in S4/5/6 without studying in S3, Chemistry requires the learning in third year to access the curriculum for nationals or highers later in school.